On the Road to the running of the 144th Kentucky Derby

Well, the dust has settled from all the prep races and we have our 20 horses who will be going to the Kentucky Derby. 1 of the top 20 horses will not be racing in the Derby due to injury.  That horse’s name is Gronk, yes named after Rob Gronkowski the football player.

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  1. Magnum Moon – The colt who has won his first 4 starts, got an impressive win in the Arkansas Derby to vault him to the top of the leaderboard. He also won the Rebel Stakes.  Will this translate to a victory on Kentucky Derby Day?  We will have to wait and see. He will have to buck history as no horse since Apollo in 1882 has ever won the Kentucky Derby without running as a 2-year-old.
  2.  Good Magic – His first victory was at the Breeders Cup Juvenile where he went off at odds of 11-1 and took on Bolt D’Oro whose odds were 9-5 and was the heavy favorite. Since than Good Magic also scored a victory in the Blue Grass Stakes and is the current overall points leader.
  3. Audible – Has raced 5 times and since finishing 3rd in his first race has now won 4 straight. His latest win came at the Florida Derby where we went 1 1/8 miles in 1:49:48.  That win has put Todd Pletcher in a position of winning back to back Kentucky Derby’s with Audible being one of the favorites to win the Kentucky Derby.
  4. Noble Indy – Winner of the Louisiana Derby and a 3rd place finish at the Risen Star Stakes has guaranteed this horse a spot in the field of 20 for the Kentucky Derby.
  5. Vino Rosso – Winner of the Wood Memorial but also a disappointing 3rd in the Sam F Davis and a 4th in the Tampa Bay Derby. This horse because of the Wood Memorial will have enough to be in the field of 20 but I will be looking elsewhere come derby day.
  6. Bolt D’Oro – The overwhelming favorite for the Breeders Cup Juvenile but had a bad trip and ended up 3rd. He makes this list with a win the San Felipe Stakes and a 2nd place finish in the Santa Anita Derby.  Will definitely be one to watch on May 5th for the Derby.
  7. Enticed – A strong bred horse with a strong pedigree and will def be one of the ones to watch come Kentucky Derby day.
  8. Mendelssohn – This horse is a bit of a dual threat as he won the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf. Ye,s that’s right he won the turf race and then turned around as a 3-year-old and won the UAE Derby.  The UAE Derby winner last year did not fare well in the derby as he bucked at the gate but did end up progressing well and just won the Dubai World Cup as a 4-year-old.
  9. Justify – The undefeated winner of the Santa Anita Derby Justify has already done everything that he needs to be in the starting 20 for the Kentucky Derby. He is a very lightly raced horse and prior to winning the Santa Anita Derby had only won races at a low-grade track called Miami Valley. This horse reminds me of a horse that almost captured our hearts for a triple crown Smarty Jones.
  10. Flameaway – After a disappointing 6th in the Iroquois Stakes, Flameaway would end up winning the Sam Davis and then finishing 2nd in the Tampa Bay Derby and the Blue Grass Stakes to secure his spot in the top 20.
  11. Solomini – Has only one win to his name and that was his maiden race.  He finished 3rd in the Arkansas Derby 2nd in the Rebel Stakes and 2nd in the Breeders Cup Juvenile. This horse will be one of the longer shots to win the derby but nothing is impossible.
  12. Bravazo – Winner of 2 of 3 starts as a 3-year-old this horse was looking impressive until he threw in a clunker at the Louisiana Derby with an 8th place finish. Will be another one with very long odds in the Derby.
  13. My Boy Jack – By far the most experienced horse in this field of 20. This horse has 10 races under his belt and 5 of them being graded stakes races. He won the Lexington Stakes and the Southwest Stakes as well as placing 3rd in the Louisiana Derby and the Sham Stakes. This horse will be one to watch on Derby Day.
  14. Promises Fulfilled – Will enter the derby with 3 wins in 5 starts and a 3rd place finish. His earnings are the third lowest of all the horses in the probable field. He had a disappointing 9th place finish in the Florida Derby. This horse will be on the lead but major concerns over stamina will probably make me look elsewhere.
  15. Free Drop Billy – This horse is following a path similar to his sire Union Rags. He has a 2nd place finish in the Holy Bull. He also has a 3rd place finish in both the Gotham Stakes and Blue Grass Stakes. The positive about this horse is he seems to like the distance and that is a good thing.
  16. Lone Sailor – Another son of A.P Indy. This horse finished 2nd in the Louisiana Derby and 2nd in the Street Sense Stakes as a 2-year-old. This will more than likely be the heartwarming story of the Derby. He is owned by Tom Benson who owns the New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans. Benson passed away March 15.
  17. Hofberg – This horse will enter the derby with only 3 career starts including his second-place finish in the Florida Derby. His trainer acknowledges that his horse will be pretty inexperienced. Nonetheless, he maintains how professional the horse has been during races and workouts.
  18. Firenze Fire – Broke his maiden in one of my favorite tracks Monmouth Park. He would also win a stakes race in January, the Jerome Stakes. He would follow that up with a 2nd in the Withers and back to back 4th’s in the Gotham and Wood Memorial.
  19. Combatant – Still without a win since his Maiden victory. He would have a run of 3 straight races where he finished in 2nd place. These races included the Smarty Jones Stakes and Southwest Stakes. He would add a 3rd at the Rebel Stakes and a 4th at the Arkansas Derby.  This horse will be a mid-range price on Derby Day.
  20. Instilled Regard – Strong Pedigree for this horse can make him a dark horse for the Derby. His 4th place finish in the Santa Anita Derby was enough to get him into the top 20. Especially with the injury to Gronk.  Look for this horse to make some noise on Derby Day.
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Well there you have it, the top 20 horses by points for the Kentucky Derby.  I will have an article about picks once post positions are drawn the Wednesday before the derby.

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